Skip to main content

How to Play a Classic Accordion Oompah Sound

Learn how to play a classic accordion oompah sound from musician / Broadway actress Katrina Yaukey in this Howcast video.


Let's talk about that classic oompah-pah sound that's associated with the accordion, with polkas and waltzes. I'm going to show you how to play one.

First of all, on my instrument, I'm going to find the C, which on this instrument has a gem on it. You can see underneath my finger there. And that's in the fundamental bass note line. So I'm going to play the C.

I'm going to find its major chord in the diagonal just above it. And that's going to be the basis for the chord that I'm going to use.

Right above it is the G. The fifth in the chord. So I'm going to go root, tonic, root, tonic. Root, tonic, root, tonic. And in between is where I add that special oompah-pah sound. So root, tonic, root, tonic. And if you think in three: one two three, two two three, one two three, two two three.

And that is the basic oompah-pah sound that is most commonly associated with the accordion.

Popular Categories